holden_trailblazer_frontHolden has given its largest SUV an upgrade and changed its name from Colorado 7 to Trailblazer.

We never quite understood Holden’s logic when it launched the big SUV in 2013 with the same name as its Colorado utility, albeit it with a ‘7’ on the end to indicate its seating capacity, especially when the Trailblazer name was being used in other markets, including the United States.

Sales of the Colorado 7 have been poor and it sits in the bottom third of the Large SUV market segment, well behind the market leading Toyota pair, Prado and Kluger as well as its own, more established, Captiva stablemate. Holden will be hoping that the change of name and a greater emphasis on its luxury features will translate into an increase in sales.

As with the outgoing Colorado 7, Trailblazer comes in two variants. The entry level LT is priced, as before, at $47,990 while the higher-spec LTZ is up by $1000 to $52,490.

While the overall shape of Trailblazer is unchanged from the Colorado 7 the front has been updated with a new styling to the popular double-stacked grille as well as new headlights incorporating with daytime running lights.

As before seven seats are standard and there’s an all-new dash and instrument cluster design together with a colour touchscreen (7-inch in the LT, 8-inch in the LTZ) housing the infotainment technology. The latter now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces as well the latest Holden MyLink system and can be operated either via the touchscreen or the Siri Eyes Free voice recognition system.


There is no dedicated satellite navigation system but Trailblazer does provide the service through either Apple CarPlay of Android Auto.

Getting started on cold winter mornings is made more pleasant for LTZ owners through remote vehicle start which enables the interior of car to be heated prior to entering.

As expected in a vehicle of its size there’s plenty of interior space with the second row 60:40 three-seat bench and 50:50 separate seats in the third row, best suited for children. The backs of the third row fold flat to allow for extended load carrying space(from 205 to 554 litres), while the second row tumbles forward to further increase capacity to 1043 litres as well as providing easier passenger access to the third row.

New Trailblazer gets a five-star ANCAP safety rating with standard features in both variants that include seven airbags; enhanced ABS brakes: electronic stability control; hill start assist; hill descent control; trailer sway control; rear parking sensors and reversing camera.

For the extra $4500 the LTZ adds front park assist; forward collision alert; lane departure warning; side blind zone alert; rear cross traffic alert; and tyre pressure monitoring system.

The only powertrain is a 2.8-litre four-cylinder Duramax turbo-diesel engine linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. Power and torque figures are unchanged from the Colorado 7 at 147 kW at 3600 rpm and 500 Newton metres between 2000 and 2200 revs. There is no 2WD option.


In line with the name change there’s an emphasis on increased ride comfort and ease of driving in Trailblazer. This makes sense given that the majority of 4WDs are actually only ever used as on-road station wagons. However, under the skin there is a lot of tough design from Japanese truck maker Isuzu, which also bodes well for those potential buyers looking for a serious off-road vehicle.

Towing capacity is 3000 kg.

Unfortunately we had to pull out of the media launch of the Trailblazer at the last minute so can’t provide drive impressions at this stage. We will get into one as soon as possible and provide our usual extended road test feedback.

Fuel consumption is listed at 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres. We’ll publish our real life numbers following our standard week-long test.

Importantly for Holden’s future after local production ends next year Trailblazer has significant Australian engineering and testing incorporated into many aspects. Much of this input also goes into other overseas models built by other GM brands such as Chevrolet and Vauxhall. This clearly shows that GM-Holden intends to continue indefinitely in automotive design, engineering and testing well into the future.

New Holden Trailblazer will go on sale at Holden dealers from early October.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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